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Ordinary Australians who dare to dream big are seeing their hopes become real, thanks to a bold project shaping a better nation for all. The winners of My Big Idea have been revealed– ten plans to address specific challenges facing Australia, submitted by regular people and adopted by leading universities and corporate partners.

One such plan is to deliver dreams specifically focussed on building skills for older Australians wanting to start a small business and to establish a free community group to bring together over 55’s. La Trobe Business School will be incubating the ideas proposed by Doug Jacquier (South Australia) and Steve Oesterreich (NSW), developing concepts of a Seniors Enterprise Centre and Over-55 Start-Up Group.

The concept is to “create employment for over 55’s, rather than seek employment”, said La Trobe Business School’s Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dr Alex Maritz. Federal Minister for Industry, and Science Greg Hunt said My Big Idea was about shaping the future through a nationwide competition. “Innovation and science in particular are fundamental to Australia’s future prosperity and quality of life. It touches all our lives”, he writes. Since start-up activity for over-55’s is the highest growing sector of entrepreneurship in Australia, La Trobe Business School (LBS) is well equipped to meet this challenge, enhancing “active ageing” for this age group, said Professor Maritz. The LBS incubation team add significant value to the project, consisting of Professors, Academics, PhD Candidates, Students and LBS networks. “We have the unique ability to integrate this project into the entrepreneurship courses we offer, as well as the communities in which we engage, notwithstanding our expertise in the development of entrepreneurship and innovation in the greater Melbourne and Victoria northern corridor”, Professor Maritz said.

As noted on the My Big Idea website, “My Big Idea is a non-politically aligned project driven by the Australian Futures Project – a registered charity focused on sourcing and bringing to life some of Australia’s most innovative and inspiring ideas for the country’s future.”

La Trobe Business School will also be hosting a Start-up Bootcamp on 8 October 2016, whereby the incubation team will deliver on the My Big Idea promise to train 500 Australians to be positive change makers!

For more information, contact LBS academic Dr Alex Maritz.